Three Churches in One Day

Our Lady continued her journey through the mountains and lakes of northern New Jersey, visiting Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Hewitt. Hewitt is a part of West Milford near Greenwood Lake – a large lake that straddles the New York-New Jersey border. Dutch settlers from Milford, later renamed Newark by the English, settled the area in the 18th century. 

I have known the Pastor of Queen of Peace Church, Fr. Michael Rodak, since my days as a parish priest in Bloomfield, NJ, when he was discerning a vocation to the priesthood. I arrived on October 2 for a Holy Hour at 3:00 P.M..  That evening I offered Mass. There was a very enthusiastic group of Polish ladies who welcomed Our Lady.

After offering the Mass the next morning, I left for St. Joseph’s Church in West Milford.  Founded by German immigrant lay people in 1765, St. Joseph’s is the oldest continuous Catholic congregation in the State of New Jersey.  My time at St. Joseph’s was short, but the people were very kind, and were grateful to be able to receive Our Lady.  I offered Mass and a sizable group stayed to pray the rosary and venerate the Blessed Mother. Soon thereafter, I started toward Holy Rosary Church in Passaic. 

Holy Rosary Church is very ethnically Polish.  It was quite the experience to concelebrate Mass in Polish, and I did my best to keep up. After a Polish priest gave a homily in Polish, I gave another in English to the congregation of about 600 people.  It was wonderful to see the faith and devotion that the Polish people have for Our Lady.  It was especially beautiful to see the children dressed in traditional Polish garb bringing flowers to Our Lady.

Fr. Peter West
Vice President for Missions
Human Life International

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